Information-seeking Behavior of Physical Science Librarians: Does Research Inform Practice?

Cecelia M. Brown, Lina Ortega

Abstract

Physical science librarians rely on personal communication and online discussion groups for information to enlighten their practice. Scholarly journals appear third on the list of resources used to inform daily activities and are used primarily to support information literacy instruction, subscription decisions, and their own research as well as to learn about best practices in other libraries. The preferred library and information studies journals publish virtually equal proportions of research and nonresearch articles, with the majority of research articles being reports of qualitative surveys without statistical analysis. The popular journals were not those most highly cited, nor were the research articles cited to a greater extent than the nonresearch articles. In essence, the experiences and opinions of colleagues and patrons were found to be of greater value to the practice of physical science librarianship than reports of original research.

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